Kate Merrill Has Disappeared from WBZ-TV and Fans Are Distraught

One of our favorite friendly faces to wake up to has disappeared without a trace. What happened to Kate Merrill?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 11 2024, Published 4:57 p.m. ET

Every morning, we used to wake up to the smiling faces of Kate Merrill, Liam Martin, and Zack Green on the morning news. But now, all three of them are absent on Boston’s WBZ-TV after Kate’s sudden departure. She was a staple on the Boston news channel, not only on the morning show, but she also covered Boston’s biggest news events, from the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 to the multiple Patriots Super Bowl wins.

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Kate worked with WBZ-TV for over 20 years before making the move to leave shortly after her coworkers, and now fans are speculating as to why she left. So what happened to Boston’s Kate Merrill and will she ever return to WBZ?

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What happened to Kate Merrill? She decided to leave WBZ-TV.

According to Kate’s LinkedIn, she started working with WBZ-TV in March 2004, over 20 years ago, although she hasn’t updated her LinkedIn to reflect her exit from the network. Before that, she worked shortly with WNBC-TV and WKRN-TV starting in 1998, proving her tenure as an anchor.

But she was noticeably absent after a May 14 segment about the arrival of migrant children to the area’s public schools. While fans speculated she may have been on vacation, the network finally confirmed Kate’s exit to The Boston Globe on June 3. “Kate has decided to move on from WBZ,” they said in a statement. “Thanks for the inquiry. We value our loyal viewers.”

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The network provided no further information to the Globe, but reporting uncovered that Kate’s bio and photo were also removed from the WBZ website. The sudden nature of Kate’s departure has led fans to speculate about the behind-the-scenes practices of WBZ-TV since she followed in the footsteps of her two former co-workers, Liam and Zach.

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Fans have speculated that Kate’s exit is related to the change in laws around noncompetes.

In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission created additional guidelines for contracted noncompetes called the Final Noncompete Rule. Before this, companies were allowed to put noncompetes in place at liberty, a common practice for reporters that typically ties them to a news organization for long periods of time. Noncompetes often stipulate that one who leaves their job can’t work for a competitor.

However, the new rule states, “Existing noncompetes with workers other than senior executives are not enforceable after the effective date.” While many might expect Kate to be a senior executive based on her tenure with WBZ and that her salary is likely far higher than the $151,164 requirement, she may not be in a “policy-making position.”

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The new rule goes into effect Sept. 4, 2024, which means that if Kate simply quit in May, she’ll have a summer vacation before a new potential job without any legal consequences for breach of contract. Alternatively, Kate may have left for similar reasons as Liam, who wrote a comprehensive piece for Boston Magazine titled, “Why I Left My Dream Job at WBZ.”

“I was up at 2 a.m. and (on a good day) in bed by 7:30 p.m,” he wrote. “When I first took the job, a good friend who had worked the morning shift for years told me, ‘You’ll always feel a little like shit.’ He was right.” Perhaps working morning hours took a similar toll on Kate’s mental health, but she’s not yet ready to speak about it. It’s possible she saw her former co-workers living much happier lives after quitting.

Regardless of the reason, we hope we’ll see Kate again soon.

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